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Region of Porcelain
The Region in Legends and Tales
Porcelain Manufacturing in Březová 

In a beautiful valley of the Teplá River, an hour and a half’s walk to the south-west of Karlovy Vary, at the village of Březová, the fourth Czech porcelain factory was established by the Saxon-Weimar businessman Bedřich Höcke in 1803. Höcke was joined by Thuringian businessmen (the Greiners) and perhaps having been persuaded by them to do so, he came to Bohemia to try a new industry.

Historical logoHe built two porcelain kilns and with the help of an unidentified expert in the preparation of porcelain mass, he began the production of porcelain ware and porcelain pipe heads.

However, the business was not very successful so Höcke, who was afraid of further financial losses, leased the porcelain factory to the accountant, Ferdinand Cranz in 1806. But he was unsuccessful too and began to look for a purchaser to whom he could sell the plant to. Höcke finally found his purchasers in 1811; they were Jan Martin Fischer and the young Březová settler, Kryštof Reichenbach.

The late-baroque porcelain ware shapes are decorated with a typical linear cobalt decoration of immortelles, as well as birds and rock motifs. Flower motifs painted in carmine or sharp brick red and green also appear. The Empire cylindrical shapes of the porcelain ware were with flower decoration, especially carmine. Vienna shapes decorated with multicoloured figures, especially from mythology, appeared at the end of the Höcke period. Porcelain from Březová

As early as one year after the takeover of the porcelain factory by Fischer and Reichenbach, the porcelain manufacture of porcelain began to flourish. The Březová porcelain was highly appreciated at the time when it was said that the factory, as the first in Bohemia, had obtained the licence to decorate its products with copper in 1829.

According to the report compiled by the commission, in 1831 the porcelain factory employed 36 jiggermen, 37 painters, gilders and printers, 16 foremen and 36 general labourers, together with clerical personnel, 130 employees in total. At that time the porcelain factory delivered to warehouses in Prague, Brno and Vienna, as well as to porcelain shops in the major towns of the former Empire, and especially to the towns of Northern Italy and further abroad. In the early part of the century the Březová porcelain factory was ranked as the first in porcelain ware gilding from all the porcelain manufacturers.

Around 1845 the so-called mother-of-pearl form first appeared, cups were bell-shaped and their feet and sides vertically extruded. Originally, these were the characteristics of Vienna porcelain which were later imitated by the Slavkov porcelain factory.

Commercial interests multiplied with the increasing competition from other porcelain manufacturers conflicted with interest in the fine shape and the artistic quality of the décor. The Březová porcelain began to lose the artistic quality of its work, products began to show modelling meretriciousness and a cheap decorative effect. The only characteristic, by which the factory surpassed the average even in these dismal circumstances, was the perfect composition and quality of the porcelain body coupled with the outstanding artistic value. For this quality, some of the Březová products were awarded a highly honourable mention at the world exhibition held in Vienna in 1873.